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MSc Evolutionary & Comparative Psychology: The Origins of Mind

Educational Organization:
University of St Andrews

Date Posted:

Program Description:
The main aim of this Masters programme in Evolutionary Psychology is to provide advanced research training in a range of intellectual and practical skills associated with evolutionary and comparative approaches to the study of mind. On completion, students should be equipped with the necessary skills to facilitate research at MPhil or PhD level.

The programme will provide a detailed knowledge of the evolutionary and comparative literature and principal theoretical and methodological issues in this field. The programme will also provide students with the statistical and methodological skills necessary to undertake research in evolutionary psychology. This programme is distinctive because it tackles fundamental issues associated with the origins of human cognition via a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches.

St. Andrews Psychology and Neuroscience department contains some of the most eminent researchers in comparative cognition from both captive and field-based perspectives: Prof. Klaus Zuberbuhler, Prof. Josep Call, Dr. Catherine Hobaiter, Prof. Malinda Carpenter, Dr. Amanda Seed, Dr. Gillian Brown, Dr. Juan-Carlos Gomez, Prof. Andrew Whiten, Prof. Richard Byrne.

The course is heavily research focused, offering a huge range of possibilities for the compulsory individual research project conducted in the summer. Amongst other field sites, the course is linked with the Budongo Conservation Field Station, Uganda as well as The Living Links centre at Edinburgh Zoo.

Compulsory modules:
-Empirical Approaches to the Evolution of Communication
-The Origins of Human Cognition
-Principle Approaches to the Origins of Mind
-Methods of Data Analysis in Psychology

Optional modules:
-Origins and Evolution of Theory of Mind
-Evolution and Development of Social and Technical Intelligence
-Professional Skills in Psychology
-Methodologies for Psychology and Neuroscience

Entrance Qualifications:
Good 2.1 Honours UK Degree in relevant discipline or equivalent from an overseas university.

English language proficiency: IELTS ≥ 7.0 (including ≥ 7 writing skills).

Tuition / Fees:
2018-2019 TBC (as an example 2017-2018 £8,500)

Support (scholarships, travel):
Funding for supporting student research projects is available.

Start + End Dates:
September 2018, 1-year course.

Application Deadline:
ongoing: closes once places are filled

Previous student comments:
"Thanks to the University's strong links with Edinburgh Zoo, I was able to conduct my MSc research project with their group of chimpanzees, looking at tool use and cognition. This was the best preparation for my PhD I can imagine, as well as being a fantastic experience. The MSc allows you to study and conduct research alongside some of the biggest names in the field, which is really a unique opportunity. I'm now undertaking my PhD at St Andrews supervised by Prof. Andrew Whiten, and can't imagine a better place to research comparative psychology."
- Rachel Harrison, 2012-2013.

â??For my summer project I was able to work with Dave Perrett in The Perception Lab manipulating 3D faces to investigate attractiveness and dominance. This gave me experience in not only lab work but also working with human participants. As a result of one of the research proposals I wrote for the Evolution of Communication module, I am now completing a PhD in chimpanzee communication at Budongo Conservation Field Station, Uganda, supervised by Prof. Klaus Zuberbuhler.
-Caroline Mullins, 2008-2009.

â??I chose the Evolutionary MSc at St. Andrews as I became very interested in Primate behaviour and cognition during my undergrad studies at UCL. I had also always wanted to experience field work, and St Andrews enabled me to conduct my summer research project at the Budongo Conservation Field Station, Uganda, supervised by Dr. Catherine Hobaiter and Prof. Klaus Zuberbuhler. I spent three months recording wild chimpanzee vocalisations and had by far the best experience of my life! I am now starting a PhD at St Andrews with Dr. Gillian Brown looking at sex differences in social learning, as part of a collaborative project on cumulative cultural evolution with Prof. Andrew Whiten and Prof. Kevin Laland.
-Charlotte Brand, 2012-2013

Contact Information:
Helen Sunderland
School of Psychology and Neuroscience, St Mary's College, University of St Andrews
St Andrews, Fife KY16 9JP
United Kingdom

Telephone Number:
00 44 (0) 1334 462157


E-Mail Address:

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